With the first week of the Halifax 2011 Canada Games drawing to a close today, Feb. 18, Premier Darrell Dexter praised the thousands of volunteers who have gone out of their way to ensure people visiting Nova Scotia feel at home. “I have visited several venues this week, and everywhere I go all I hear from people is how wonderful our volunteers are,” said Premier Dexter. “It speaks volumes about our province when people go back to their homes after the Games and talk about how warm and friendly a place Nova Scotia is.” More than 5,000 Nova Scotians of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities are putting in at least 24 hours each during the Games. More than half of those have submitted their names to Events Nova Scotia to be contacted for future volunteer opportunities. “The Canada Games legacy is much greater than simply bricks and mortar,” said Premier Dexter. “Nova Scotia will also have enhanced sport programming and an enhanced volunteer base, not to mention the fact that the Games experience helps our coaches and referees build their skills and encourage future generations of Nova Scotians to develop a love for sport.” The premier thanked volunteers for their time and energy, and encouraged people visiting venues to acknowledge the hard work of the volunteers to help make the Games a success. Week 2 of the Canada Games begins Sunday, Feb. 20, with the preliminary round for women’s hockey. For a complete schedule of events, go to www.canadagames2011.ca .